Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Urist, the Handsomely Clueless

As a gamer guy with gamer opinions on the gamer internet, I tend to identify with the old-school gaming crowd who wax nostalgic about rolling your ability scores 3d6-in-order and failing saving throws and dying in spectacularly hilarious ways (rolled over by a giant slug, accidentally drinking corrosive slime instead of a healing potion, etc). I love this idea where you're playing in a D&D world that's a heavy metal album cover of oversexed barbarbarians fighting sinister wizards but your actual party of characters is more like the Keystone Kops who just keep accidentally falling down stairs into horribly monster-filled dungeons. So when the awesome Darius Whiteplume of the intensely culturally valuable Adventures in Nerdliness blog offered to run some old-school D&D I found myself chewing on the keyboard in anticipation.

I'm playing a dwarf. His name is Urist Diggerbollox and we're playing Basic/Expert so being a dwarf is not just his genetics but also his job description.

First things first, I bought myself a warhammer because hitting things seemed like a likely eventuality and then I bought a shield because getting hit seemed even more likely.

A number you might find yourself Caring About A Lot in D&D is your armor class, because it is the number that bad guys (or good guys, depending on what sort of trouble you're getting into) have to shoot for to hit you. In delightfully esoteric old-school D&D you're trying to get that number as low as possible and the best way to do this is to buy expensive armor and it turns out once you've bought a big expensive warhammer and a few other things you can't really afford the cool stuff, like that chainmail that Pik is wearing.

I opted for "Padded Armor" which apparently was a totally legit real thing but brings to mind the kind of puffy jacket rap stars used to like to wear, or taken to an absurd extreme might be one of those sumo wrestling suits they make you wear for funny sumofights at the company picnic.

Urist has a pretty high charisma for a dwarf so we decided he was just busting out in some slick denim threads and I think that's a good look for him. Our team's rather embarrassingly clueless but if the whole dying horribly in a deathtrap-laden dungeon gig doesn't totally work out for us we might try a secondary career as medieval male models. How you doin'?


  1. I feel your pain. I had to give up buying a shield so I can afford a holy symbol, even though I am pretty sure that a Basic D&D cleric doesn't actually need a holy symbol to do anything.

  2. @Pik - You might need it to turn undead, but not sure...

    @Urist - I am enjoying that it is not easy to be a power gamer in Basic. Everyone is expendable, and with the heroes hovering around average for their stats, just think how lowly the peasants must be.